|A.L. Coordinator||Bill McLean||alcor (at) backbayastro (dot) org|
|Newsletter Editor||Paul Tartabini||editor (at) backbayastro (dot) org|
|RRRT Coordinator||Bird Taylor||rrrt (at) backbayastro (dot) org|
|Scholarship Committee Chair||Ben Loyola||benito (at) loyola (dot) com|
|Webmaster||Curt Lambert||webmaster (at) backbayastro (dot) org|
|Marketing Managers||Raina Guffey | Kayla Robinson||info (at) backbayastro (dot) org; Attention Marketing Managers|
BBAA Store CoordinatorThe BBAA is looking for a club member to be the point of contact for members who want to order items through our store.
|Position Open||Click here if you are interested in volunteering|
|Yahoo List Owner | Facebook Group Admin||George Reynolds||pathfinder027 (at) yahoo (dot) com|
The public is invited to come to our free monthly Skywatch event at Northwest River Park in Chesapeake to take a look through our telescopes at planets, galaxies, star clusters, nebulae, and more! Come learn about the sky and about your place in the Universe. In addition we also hold a monthly event called Saturday "Sun" Day at the Elizabeth River Boat Landing and Park in Chesapeake that lets visitors see the Earth's closest star, the Sun. See our Events Calendar for scheduled dates and more information.
Other regular public events include Gardens Stars at the Norfolk Botanical Garden and Night Hike at Northwest River Park. During the height of the tourist season, we collaborate with the Virginia Beach Planetarium and the City of Virginia Beach to host Boardwalk Astronomy on the Virginia Beach boardwalk (near the 24th Street stage). We also do many other outreach events throughout the year at city parks, local schools and libraries. Organizations and members of the public can request that we attend their event by going to NASA's Night Sky Network website and filling out the request form. If you have any questions about scheduling an event please send an email to our Outreach Coordinator.
Help us fulfill our club motto of "Bringing Astronomy to the People of Hampton Roads" by supporting our outreach events and donating your time, resources, or both. Thank you!
Our monthly meetings are generally held in the Science and Technology Building (Bldg J) at the Tidewater Community College's Virginia Beach Campus when the school is open. Our meeting room is usually JC-12 (on the second floor above the planetarium), but may change depending upon classroom availability. The planetarium is the rounded end of the J Building, opposite the observatory.
Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at 7 PM and are open to the public. When classes are not in session at TCC, meetings are held at other locations that are announced on our official calendar. We also usually post the updates on our social media pages Yahoo Group, Facebook Group, and our Facebook page.
The BBAA scholarship programs offers financial assistance to graduating high school seniors in our area that demonstrate an avid interest in astronomy. The BBAA awards two scholarships each year. A general $1,500.00 scholarship and the Georgie June Memorial Astronomy Scholarship for $500.00. Georgie June was a passionate amateur astronomer and longtime active member of the BBAA.
The scholarship recipients are determined in accordance to procedure outlined in our scholarship bylaws. To view the bylaws for the Back Bay Amateur Astronomers Scholarship Committee you can click here. The BBAA Scholarship Committee Chair is Ben Loyola. The scholarship awards will be distributed in the spring to the first and second place student applicants. The scholarship awards shall be in the form of a check payable to the college or university listed on the recipient’s scholarship application, or to such other college or university designated by the recipient to which the recipient has been accepted, or to the applicant if a college or university has not been determined. To apply, download our scholarship application form. If you would like to make a donation to our scholarship fund please go to the BBAA store and scroll down to the section marked "Donate to the BBAA Scholarship Fund".
Each year in the spring the BBAA sells raffle tickets with the proceeds funding our Georgie June Scholarship Fund. The tickets cost $5 each and are available for purchase from the four club officers. The grand prize this year is a Celestron AstroFi 130mm Wi-Fi GoTo Telescope! This telescope comes with many extras and can even be controlled with your cell phone. Complete details for the prize can be found on our Georgie June Raffle Flyer. We will also have other prizes too that can be won with the purchase of your raffle ticket. The raffle for the telescope will be held at the BBAA Summer Picnic in July. The winner does not have to be present, but will be required to pickup the telescope at or after the picnic.
The “Rapid Robotic Response Telescope” (RRRT) project is a joint collaboration between Norfolk State University and the University of Virginia to operate a robotic telescope at Fan Mountain Observatory near Charlottesville. The universities have generously allowed the BBAA to utilize the telescope for astrophotograhy. The 24-inch Ritchey-Chretien telescope is designed to operate remotely and studies gamma ray bursts, blazars, and other transient events. When not actively engaged in GRB work, students in the area and our members may use the scope for a variety of projects. The RRRT is apart of the Skynet Robotic Telescope Network. The Skynet Robotic Telescope Network or Skynet, is a global network of fully automated, or robotic telescopes serving professional astronomers and students over the Internet. Skynet telescopes are unique in that they are run by computers instead of by humans. Such telescopes are called robotic telescopes. Each evening, during good weather, the telescopes' domes open and the telescopes record data using request entered by members of the Skynet network. The RRRT Coordinator for the BBAA is Bird Taylor.